NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg sternly warned New Yorkers to follow the city's mandatory evacuation orders Saturday, saying approaching Hurricane Irene was dangerous and could be life-threatening.
Some 370,000 city residents are under orders to leave their homes in low-lying areas, many of them in parts of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens and in downtown Manhattan, he said.
"Staying behind is dangerous, staying behind is foolish and it's against the law," Bloomberg said at a media briefing at Coney Island in Brooklyn.
The city's subway system closes down at noon, said Bloomberg in urging people to evacuate immediately.
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